The Missions: San Francisco and San José

Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity...Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for him. - Pope Benedict XVI

Merry Christmas.

almost happy new year.

winter has definitely descended upon the mission - cold and foggy this morning. we made it through the firrst half of the season just fine, and yesterday two choir girls and i developed a chant for the Gloria so we can actually sing the proper words. it's set to be unveiled this sunday. it might be a little bit of a struggle at first, but we'll get it.

in other news, an army capitan was arrested for heading the largest drug operation on the island - that's right, he was in the military. as a matter of fact, military intelligence had suggested he be removed a couple of years ago and the president sent a personal note saying that not only was he to be retained, but promoted. so, after the good old usa comes down with the dea and gets on the case, they bust a truck with 1,400 kilos of cocaine with a street value of 30 million. it's a nasty bit of business down here. just hope the usa gets him extradited, otherwise he might get off....

it's a foggy morning here. almost wintery. as you all in northern va prepare for yet another massive mid-atlantic weather disappointment, we will enjoy 85 and sunny by midday. it is nice to have some chilly wet weather though.

advent continues to speed by with its usual alacrity. we began a retreat-like devotion this year: based on the O antiphons, we are doing a holy hour each night with a little homily and confessions. it's a solid theme and should get us all prepared for the big midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

the dog was sick, he got better, then decided to jump out of the back of the truck yesterday while we were going 40 kph. i stopped the truck when the people in the back yelled, got out, whistled, and he came running - i think he's too stupid to realize that he should have been hurt...

i haven't blogged in quite a while, but not for lack of desire, just a lack of something different to blog.

we've had 9 solar panels stolen in the last 3 weeks, 6 the first time and 3 more a couple of nights ago. i had alerted both the police and the military and everyone had been on full alert. i'm certain the landscape had been scoured in search of the culprits, but no one had been found. this morning, however, an army guy came in and told me that in his personal investigation he had found two guys who he thought were guilty. the dialogue went as follows:

"padre, what should we do with them?"
"throw them in jail and let justice do its work," i respond.
"should we beat them?"
after the shock wore off i told him "no please don't beat them, but don't be afraid to use force to bring them in, but only what's necessary"
"good, i don't like beating people"

so off he went to apprehend the crooks. about an hour later he comes back and says, "we got them."
"did you beat them?"
"no, it went smoothly."
"did they admit that they took the panels?"
"well, we asked on and he said 'i didn't steal the panels, i stole a goat."


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